Tuesday, August 09, 2005

UGLY WEEKEND

Not exactly the weekend anyone expected out of the Red Sox in their three game series with Minnesota. A few quick hit plusses and minuses from the weekend series:

PLUS:
Tim Wakefield strikes out eleven batters on Sunday.

MINUS:
Mini-Manny Delcarmen nearly coughs up a seven run lead in the ninth inning, leaving with two runs in and the bases loaded before a not-quite-warmed-up Curt Schilling walked in a run before ending the game.

PLUS:
The Sox rip out 17 hits on Sunday.

MINUS:
For most of the first few innings of the game they allow the Twins to hang in there, as they continue to leave runners on base.

PLUS:
Roberto Petegine hits a big double to drive in Manny and Papi for his first major league hit in seven years.

MINUS:
The hefty first baseman is gunned out at third trying to stretch the two-bagger into a triple.

PLUS:
The Sox jump out to a 3-0 lead Saturday night on reigning Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana.

MINUS:
David Wells tires in the sixth inning (too many cheeseburgers?) and gives up three runs to tie the game, which Minnesota goes on to win.

PLUS:
Mike Timlin pitches well in the eighth inning of a tie game on Saturday night.

MINUS:
Two errors doom the Sox in the ninth as they hand the game to the Twins.

PLUS:
Bronson Arroyo prepares to join the bullpen to shore up the shaky pen when Curt Schilling returns to the rotation.

MINUS:
Getting bombed on Friday night in a game they go on to lose 12-0 prepares Arroyo for the inevitable trip to the bullpen where he can bring his guitar to entertain the bleacher fans in the early innings.

PLUS:
They Yankees only gained one game in the standings over the weekend.

MINUS:
The Blue Jays had a chance to thrust a dagger into the Yankees and failed to do so this weekend.

* * *

FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS:

Hard to believe, but the last time the Patriots were on the field, they were knocking Donovan McNabb around so much he could not even spit out the plays in the huddle. Since then, the team has had to deal with the stroke and one-year (at least) hiatus of Tedy Bruschi, the surprise retirement on the eve of camp by fellow inside linebacker Ted Johnson, the hold-out of defensive end Richard Seymour, the return of Doug Flutie to New England, the pick-up of wideout David Terrell (the famous shoulda-been pick where Bill Belichick initially proved that he was right and we were all wrong by him choosing Richard Seymour instead of Terrell), and finally the draft which once again appears to be another home run, providing two future starters on the offensive line, secondary depth, a young linebacker with promise, and Matt Cassell, who one wonders how Pete Carroll left him on the bench for his college career (oh yeah, two Heisman trophy winners ahead of him at QB at USC).

The Patriots return to action with an incredibly deep roster that will have some very interesting cut-downs as camp goes on. Will Cassell and Flutie force the departure of Riders of Rohan Davey? Who is going to end up playing inside linebacker? How do you fit six starter-quality cornerbacks into four significant roles? Will Bethel Johnson not make the team due to the emergence of P.K. Sam or the receiving and special teams prowess of Tim Dwight? Who is going to start on the offensive line? Where does Chad Morton fit on the roster? Is there anyone who can play safety if Eugene Wilson or Rodney Harrison goes down?

Friday night: football is finally back in New England.

* * *

JOE MUST GO:

Someone inform the Bruins front office that the time to trade Joe Thornton is upon them. Find a team with a more mature star center and make the deal. Much like Stan Papi, Skip Lockwood, Jack Clark, Matt Young, and countless other athletes, the Boston media and expectations as a top pick is far too much pressure for Jumbo Joe to endure. Get rid of him no: just be sure to get some value back for him.

* * *

New England Patriots: On Vacation as Free Agency Begins - Full Press Coverage

The 2019 NFL year has begun with the advent of free agency and as usual the New England Patriots are one of the quietest teams. While teams ...